Sunday 31 August 2014

X Wing, Holidays and Common Ground Games

 The 3 R's, Reillys Random Ramblings

Its been a bit quiet on here the last couple of weeks, I took a bit of time out with the family for a couple of weeks, heading up, possibly for the last time without a passport, to Scotland. A lovely cottage in the Pentland Hills a short journey from Edinburgh and a great time was had by all.

I'm very lucky in the fact that Baby R (14 now and taller than me) and Mrs R indulge my hobby and join in on the odd game or two especially on holidays. X Wing has been on my radar for a while, any regular readers of the blog will realise by now that I am generally 18 months or so behind the curve with new stuff. I see something think, oh that's nice and I'll be halfway through a project and put it to one side then suddenly remember my interest a year or so later.

So onto X Wing, I don't plan to review the game in detail that's been done at length elsewhere. I will say that I am very impressed by the whole thing. The starter set shown above comes with everything you need to get going. There are three ships with the game the iconic X Wing itself and two opposing Tie Fighters, dice, movement templates, tokens, game cards, the lot. The production on the game is fantastic, very high quality, the ship models themselves are really good, great detail and a cracking paint job. Some "pre painted" stuff is dreadful but this is much much better I don't know how they do it. For so long I have been used to buying rules and figures and then waiting months until I have enough for a game, opening a box and playing straight away is new and fun.

As for game play its great, easy to pick up but not too simple, lots of variation between ships and characters, we had some cracking games. New ships to add to the game can be picked up for between £10 and £12, I think that's pretty good value. As stated above they are really well painted and come with high quality movement base, counters and cards for the ship itself. When I think I was paying this and more to the completely useless "Mongoose Publishing" for unpainted Star Fleet ACTA stuff a couple years ago ( which surprise, surprise they dropped and screwed up, never ever buy anything from Mongoose ).

The back story to X Wing was its purchase. One of the first ports of call on any Scottish Holiday is Static Games in Glasgow, sadly they didn't have a copy of the starter set, lots of ships but no game, we tried Black Lion Games in Edinburgh who had very little of anything along with every Waterstones and Forbidden Planet, no joy. I went on the tinternetweb and found Common Ground Games in Stirling and The Games Hub in Edinburgh, two places I wasn't aware of, at 7pm I e-mailed both asking if they had the game. An hour later CGG had got back to me with a positive result and put a copy under the counter for me. The Games Hub still haven't got back to me, they haven't got any of my money either !

We travelled over the next day and picked the game up with a couple of extra ships. I was very impressed with the layout, there is a well stocked shop area with a good selection of figs, board games and accessories. Added to that is a nice cafe area to chill out in which is tagged on to a really big games room.

We had a nice chat with the owner who is clearly enthusiastic about gaming and his store. Most game shops are tiny in the UK and struggle to fit a 6x4 table in and when they do you can't get to the stock, this was, to me, different and a great step forward. Leeds is 8 times bigger than Stirling and has nothing like this, if I lived in the area I would be a regular, if you need some re enforcements during a game you can pop next door and buy them ! I wish Common Ground Games every success and will certainly be back to visit.

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